Not being secret

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East London Lines: first to report academy status

Governors of Prendergast school – the Leathersellers’ Federation of Schools – have refused to provide details under the Freedom of Information Act about their decision to apply for academy status.

Yet they deny secrecy, claiming to have been open and transparent.

The answers they have provided, along with published minutes and replies to emails over the past five months or so, suggest that the timetable of events was as follows: Continue reading

Health websites

crowd

Guild of Health Writers

Freelance health journalists should have their own WordPress websites that include photos, images, pictures, audio and video alongside their writing, the Guild of Health Writers heard.

WordPress is a simple-to-use content management system (CMS). It enables freelances to run their own professional-looking website without paying for expensive web design and maintenance. It can costs less than £35 a year. Continue reading

FCA PR queries

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FCA press office contacts

I don’t believe the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) press office answered my questions at all. Do you? My email correspondence is in this blog.

The FCA is the super-regulator for the financial services industry. It took a public pounding from MPs and a published report last year over briefing a journalist too much information too early. Perhaps it is being over-cautious now.

There’s a less email-heavy version of this on my business website Wheal Associates (new window), which includes more on the FCA’s problems last year.  This post contains the detail of my correspondence. Continue reading

BT complaint fail

recorder and phone

Recording calls to BT complaints

If it were not so painful it would be funny: BT’s “High Level Complaints’’ just tried to insist that complaining about follow-up emails after they belatedly fitted a phone and broadband would have to be a separate complaint.

They did this to try to ensure I could not take my original complaints to the ombudsman. They have retracted. But you can see what they were up to and it is despicable. BT’s CEO Ian Livingston, who was at the heart of this complaint, is to quit and become UK trade and industry minister. Uh oh! Continue reading

BT Business fail

BT logo, reads "you're ready to go"

Not ready: BT failed to provide phone or broadband

BT Business just failed to move my phone and broadband on the moving date. What a useless service. I am now without remote back up.

In June 2010 I blogged about how we set up the remote back-up system and why it is important to back up remotely in the event that the unthinkable happens. And now, because of BT’s incompetence, I don’t have that working. I could lose everything in the next few days. Continue reading

Animal farm

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Wellbeloved’s sausage and bacon

After 31 and half years of being a vegetarian, this month, I started eating meat and fish again. It wasn’t a rushed decision. It was something I had been considering for years. And no one thing triggered it. There were lots of reasons.

The first reason for eating meat was that I no longer believed my original premise for becoming vegetarian – that it was morally wrong to kill animals. I had not believed that for many years. But the status quo was that I was a vegetarian and I needed to be convinced to proactively change. Continue reading

Apple iOS bites

Zebra-app

the-Zebra app logo on Apple Developer site

Unless you are Facebook, dealing with Apple as an iOS (iPhone app) developer is challenging. Facebook managed to do two updates within 24 hours but Apple never even looks at my updates for five days and can take almost 24 hours to reply to basic communications.

After protracted correspondence after my latest version of the-Zebra app was rejected, I asked Apple, seven hours after my last communication, if I should wait up for a response or could go to bed. Within minutes my app was reviewed, approved, sent to the store and put on sale. Continue reading

Marriage rules

driving licence with points

Whose points were they?

A Leveson inquiry into the Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce speeding points case would recommend statutory regulation of all married couples.

The call would be backed by academics who were no longer married or who no longer drove (or both) and a celebrity campaign group called Driven Off. And the Leveson report would state Pryce’s name was Price (with an i) changed to sound posh – because an un-verified Wikipedia page said so. Continue reading